Wasteful Chelsea kickstart post-Potter era with goalless draw against Liverpool

Chelsea began a new era following the departure of Graham Potter with a relatively positive but wasteful performance against Liverpool as both teams, who have been struggling for most of the season, played a goalless draw.

Both coming from defeats against Man City and Aston Villa in their last Premier League matches, everything was at stake in tonight’s game as they aimed to make a bold statement in a bid to turn their unimpressive fortunes around.

Jurgen Klopp named a surprising lineup for the fixture against Chelsea as they began the post-Graham Potter era; Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Cody Gakpo were benched following last week’s 4-1 defeat to Man City, while Virgil van Dijk was not named in the matchday squad.

With only four minutes into the encounter, Chelsea had the first attempt at goal when Kai Havertz gave Enzo Fernandez the ball, which in turn sent it to Joao Felix but Joel Matip cleared the ball away as the Portuguese was about to make a turn inside the 18-yard box to create space to fire a shot.

Reece James finally managed to find the back of the net in the 25th minute with the England international blasting the ball past Alisson Becker. But it was ruled out for an offside after Havertz’s ball to Fernandez had caught the latter in the build-up to the goal as the scoreline remained goalless.

Liverpool’s real threat on goal came in the last two minutes of the first half with Joe Gomez firing a ball from Darwin Nunez from yards out towards the top right corner of the post but was parried off for a corner kick by Kepa Arizzabalaga. 

Less than 60 seconds later, Chelsea players were unable to deal with Jota’s corner kick which found its way to Fabinho who immediately launched the ball towards the goal but was immediately dealt with by Wesley Fofana’s header which happened to be the last real action of the entertaining half.

In the 47th minute, Mateo Kovacic cleared with the goalkeeper after a nice drift between Felix and Havertz, however the Croatian fired the ball wide before Havertz’s goal two minutes later was ruled out by the VAR because the ball had struck the German’s hands in the build up.

Those were the last big chances of scoring in the second half as the remaining 43 minutes ended as both Liverpool and Chelsea failed to find a breakthrough, thereby settling for an interesting draw at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool moved to eighth position on the table; tied with Brentford but the Reds have a superior goal difference while Chelsea’s position remained unchanged, sitting 11th in the bottom half of the table with 39 points.